OSyM Participants

    • Type of Researcher
    Members
    Lynn Martin
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    University of South Florida
    lbmartin@usf.edu
    Martin lab at USF
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Marty's is generally interested in the ecophysiology of wild vertebrates, especially birds and mammals. Research in the lab now addresses what physiological and behavioral traits enable some individuals to have disproportionate effects on the spread and dilution of infectious diseases, how molecular epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation underlie the phenotypic plasticity that enables some organisms to be exceptional colonizers, and how body size constrains the architecture of the immune systems and other defenses of species.


    Biographical Info

    Marty earned a BS and an MS in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by an MS and PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton. He then spent 3 years as a postdoc in Psychology and Neuroscience at The Ohio State University and joined the University of South Florida in 2007 as an Assistant Professor. Since 2018, he has been Professor in Global and Planetary Health in the USF College of Public Health.


    Alexander Mauro
    Organismal Biologist
    Graduate Student
    Colorado State University
    amauro@colostate.edu
    The Evolutionary Ecology of Ranges
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    My research focuses on a question that has been of great interest to evolutionary biologists since the inception of the field: why does natural selection not select for greater environmental tolerance and hence greater ranges? I investigate this question by studying what sets the range limits of two species of guppies on the island of Trinidad. My research can be broken up into three main themes:1) Tradeoffs between ecologically relevant traits​ can set range limits. I'm currently investigating how competition and salinity tolerance tradeoff by studying guppy behavior, growth, and gene expression during a simulated saltwater invasion, 2) Once a population moves past its range and enters a novel environment, the type of phenotypic plasticity the population exhibits will influence ​its persistence in and adaptation to the new environment. I'm investigating this dynamic in the classic high-predation, low-predation guppy system, & 3) Gene flow from other populations can "swamp" out adaptive alleles and prevent local adaptation & set range limits. To investigate this I'm conducting a population genomics study on guppies in 3 estuarine rivers in collaboration with the Whitehead Lab at UC Davis.


    Biographical Info

    I am an evolutionary ecologist and 4th year PhD candidate in the Ghalambor lab at Colorado State. For my PhD I’m investigating what prevents guppies from expanding their ranges in the estuaries of Trinidad to better understand the adaptive process. I use a combination of genetics, behavior, and ecological studies to do this. As an undergrad, I worked on animal behavior, biomechanics, and eomorphology projects while at Claremont McKenna College. In addition to research goals, I also aim to have an active outreach program and currently accomplish this by guest-teaching “guppy” labs in local middle schools and high schools (I also coach middle school cross country!).


    Kerry McGowan
    Organismal Biologist
    Graduate Student
    Washington State University
    kerry.mcgowan@wsu.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    The core question in my research is how organisms adapt to extreme environments. I work on a poeciliid fish species complex that lives in several freshwater drainages in southern Mexico. Populations of this species have also successfully colonized nearby springs rich in hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas lethal to most metazoans at low concentrations. I am interested in elucidating the genetic mechanisms underlying the adaptations in these fish living in sulfidic conditions and how their adaptation strategies differ looking across different springs. One area that I am focusing on is understanding changes in the regulatory networks that control the expression of genes related to hydrogen sulfide detoxification and aerobic metabolism. My research aims to discover candidate regulatory genes that control these processes in poeciliid fishes living in sulfidic environments by using differential gene expression, gene set enrichment analyses, and network analyses.


    Biographical Info

    I am a third year Ph.D. student at Washington State University under the mentorship of Dr. Joanna Kelley. I am broadly interested in evolutionary genomics, population genetics, and adaptation to extreme environments.

    I received my B.S. in Biology from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. I was fortunate to be introduced to research through the mentorship of Dr. Erika Iyengar during my time at Muhlenberg. I was also a participant in the University of Washington's Research Experience for Undergraduates at Friday Harbor Laboratories researching intertidal epibiosis. After graduating from Muhlenberg, I interned at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in the Departments of Entomology and Invertebrate Zoology. Before enrolling as a graduate student at Washington State University, I served two terms as an AmeriCorps member in Flagstaff, AZ and Seattle, WA.


    Elyse McMahon
    Organismal Biologist
    PhD student
    Pennsylvania State University
    ekm5112@gmail.com
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    I study how personality is associated with different physiological mechanisms. My overarching goal is to better understand why we see population variation from the perspective of studying the individual. My current research is conducted in laboratory settings which allows me to study interacting physiological mechanisms in controlled environments. I currently study acute stress responses in autonomic and endocrine systems, innate and adaptive immune function, gut microbiome diversity, and neuronal function. By collecting these cross-physiological system data, I can determine the networks that underlie behavioral phenotypes.


    Biographical Info

    I am a third year PhD student at Penn State University. I study how physiological mechanisms interact and are associated with personality. My lab asks questions to understand why we see differences between individuals and to better understand life-long fitness and health consequences from these physiological differences. My goals are to better understand why we see population variation and understand the mechanisms allowing flexibility or stability in changing environments. To answer this question, I plan to study different physiological systems and create an integrated physiological profile to understand underlying mechanisms that result in varying fitness and health outcomes.


    Fred Nijhout
    Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Duke University
    hfn@duke.edu
    Research Summary

    Developmental physiology. Control of size and shape in development. Polyphenisms. Allometry. Pattern formation.
    I do wet-lab research on the above systems. I also do a lot of mathematical modeling of those systems.
    In addition, I collaborate with Mike Reed (Duke Mathematcis) in modeling metabolic systems relevant to human health, in which we study the mecahnsism of robustness sand homeostasis.


    Biographical Info

    I have been a Full Professor at Duke University since 1987.


    Natascha Ouillon
    Organismal Biologist
    PhD graduate student
    University of Rostock (Germany)
    natascha.ouillon@gmail.com
    Research Summary

    I am interested in impacts of environmental changes on the physiology and behavior of marine organisms. My PhD in integrative biology at the University of Rostock (Germany), is entitled "Bioenergetics-mediated effects of multiple stressors on marine bioturbators in shallow coastal ecosystems". I focus on the combined effects of constant and cyclic hypoxia and hypercapnia on a common bioturbator Mya arenaria at different levels (molecular and individual). I am assessing their digging activity, respiration and filtration rate (on the individual level), total energy reserves and their mitochondrial function (on the molecular level).Furthermore, I try to link the different observed physiological and molecular stress responses to the whole organism to see impacts on their fitness. Another project of my PhD is to perform modelling at the individual level by using the concept of DEB (Dynamic Energy Budget theory).


    Biographical Info

    From a marine and coastal ecology education, I obtained a Bachelor in “Marine Biology and Ecology” and a Master in “Ecology and dynamics of estuaries and coasts” from the University of La Rochelle (France). Since the beginning of my studies, my research interests focuses on the impact of environmental changes, whether natural or human-induced, on the physiology of marine organism. I had the chance to assess the impact of environmental variability (Hypoxia, Temperature, pH) from the individual to the molecular level. I am currently doing my PhD by focusing on bioenergetics-mediated effects of multiple stressors (hypoxia and hypercapnia) on marine bioturbators (Mya arenaria) in shallow coastal ecosystems at the University of Rostock (Germany).


    Dianna Padilla
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Stony Brook University
    Deparment of Ecology and Evolution
    dianna.padilla@stonybrook.edu
    Research Summary

    My research focuses on phenotypically plastic responses of organisms to environmental change, functional morphology and ecology of marine invertebrates and algae, life histories of marine invertebrates, and invasion biology.


    Biographical Info

    Dianna grew up in Wyomig, recevied Bachelors Degrees in Biological Oceanography and Zoology and the University of Washington, a MS in Zoology at Oregon State University, and PhD at the University of Alberta, Canada, and was a postdoc at Cornell before taking a job at the University of Wisconsin. After 8 years she left Wisconsin and moved to Stony Brook.


    Keywords: functional ecology, phenotypic plasticity, responses to climate change, marine invertebrates, functional morphology, invasion biololgy
    Matthew Reidenbach
    Biomechanic, Engineer
    Professor
    University of Virginia
    University of Virginia
    reidenbach@virginia.edu
    Matt Reidenbach research website
    Research Summary

    My primary area of research is environmental fluid dynamics, with an emphasis on fluid-biological interactions in coastal environments. Current studies include the effects of flow and turbulence on nutrient exchange in coral reefs, larval transport in estuaries, chemical dispersion in the coastal ocean, and wave dynamics. I also study biomechanics of marine organisms, including olfaction and mechano-sensing in lobsters, crabs, crayfish, and larvae.


    Biographical Info

    I am a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia.